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Statute and Rules

Section 250.119 Furloughs

This Section is applicable through September 30, 2017.

  1. Furlough. A furlough is the placement of an employee in a temporary nonduty, nonpay status for a continuous or noncontinuous period of time due only to a lack of funds. A furlough is not considered a layoff or a reduction in force action and, therefore, is not subject to Section 250.110(d) regarding layoffs.
  2. Employee Terminations. An employee on a temporary or extra help appointment shall be terminated prior to implementation of the furlough program, unless the appointment is required based on health and welfare or public safety, or a designated grant or other funding source. All student appointments shall be terminated subject to Section 250.70(e), unless the student appointment is required for health and welfare or public safety, or the appointment is part of the student's financial aid, or if the student is receiving academic credit as part of the conditions of the student appointment.
  3. Voluntary or Mandatory Furlough Program. A furlough can be either voluntary or mandatory. A voluntary or mandatory furlough program is not required to include all employees at a designated employer or within a division or program. Positions/employees who have mandated funding, such as a grant or other funding source, or whose absence would jeopardize the funding for a position/employee or department, may be exempted from the furlough program. Employees in positions considered essential to the critical mission of an employer, such as those related to health and welfare or public safety, may also be excluded from participation in a furlough program. Uniform participation and selection criteria shall be developed by the employer and consistently applied. This Section shall only apply to employees who are designated within the employer's furlough program in accordance with subsections (c) through (m).
  4. Notification of Furlough Program to Employees. Once an employer plans to implement a furlough program, the employer shall notify all employees at least 30 days prior to a furlough program being implemented. The process by which the employer chooses to notify employees is at the employer's discretion, but must conform to the employer's policies related to contacting an employee for official business.
  5. Furlough Work Status. An employee who is furloughed shall not be at work, on standby or on-call, and shall not perform any work for the furloughing employer during his/her scheduled furlough time. However, for emergency situations, employees subject to a collective bargaining agreement may be called back to work in accordance with the agreement. For those employees not subject to a collective bargaining agreement, employees may be called back to work in accordance with standard employer policies.
  6. Employee Benefits
    1. Employees who are furloughed are not permitted to use vacation, sick leave, personal leave, "floating" holidays, or any other compensable time or similar benefit for the time during which he/she is being furloughed.
    2. Notwithstanding any other Section in this Part, or the fact that an employee's work hours or pay is reduced by the requirement to take a furlough:
      1. furlough time will be credited as if the employee were in pay status for employee benefit programs such as health, life, dental and vision insurance and any similar benefits; and
      2. pension credit for furlough time can be purchased by an employee as provided under Section 15-113.11 of the Illinois Pension Code [40 ILCS 5] (i.e., for furlough time taken between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2017, pension credit can be purchased; otherwise, it cannot).
    3. A furloughed employee shall be entitled to the same benefits to which he/she was entitled on the paid workday immediately preceding the furlough day. These benefits include, but are not limited to, continued accumulation of vacation and sick leave, holiday benefits, and benefits established by the Merit Board Policy Relating to Employee Benefits as approved by the Merit Board and by the Governing Boards of the universities and agencies served by the University System.
  7. Maximum Number of Furlough Work Days. A furlough program shall only be instituted for a maximum of 15 work days in any fiscal year (July 1 through June 30).
  8. Employer's Tracking of Furlough Days. In order for an employee to continue under the State Employees Group Insurance Act of 1971 [5 ILCS 375], the employer is required to track designated furlough days for each employee.
  9. Accumulation of Seniority during a Furlough Status. An employee shall continue to accrue seniority during any and all furlough work days.
  10. Military Leave during a Furlough Program. An employee on military leave shall not be scheduled for any furlough days during his/her leave and may be scheduled for furlough days that may be prorated dependent upon the date the employee returns to work, if a furlough program remains in effect.
  11. Furlough Program Stipulations. A furlough program shall not be used by an employer for the following reasons:
    1. Permanent shutdown;
    2. As a substitute for permanent part-time employment; or
    3. As a disciplinary measure.
  12. Collective Bargaining Agreements. Implementation of furloughs for employees covered under a collective bargaining agreement is subject to applicable State and federal labor laws and regulations. This Section is not intended to circumvent or supersede other State or federal labor laws and/or regulations that apply.
  13. Notification to the State Universities Civil Service System of a Furlough Program. An employer may institute a voluntary or mandatory furlough program upon notification to the Executive Director at least 30 calendar days prior to the implementation of any employee being furloughed. The employer shall include in the notification the following:
    1. Whether the furlough program is for the entire employer or designated divisions or programs;
    2. What considerations have been contemplated or invoked for other employees, such as those listed in Section 36e of the Act;
    3. An explanation of the facts related to the temporary nature of the event causing the furlough program;
    4. The funding deficit related to the affected work areas;
    5. The approximate number of employees affected by the furlough program; and
    6. The beginning date and ending date of the furlough program.

(Source: Added at 40 Ill. Reg. 16302, effective December 12, 2016.)